A player’s character is crucial as this reaches far beyond the court. Remember, college coaches are not only looking for players to develop and compete with, they’re looking for young men/women to do business with. Coaches will not risk their job security on players who will not keep their commitments as student-athletes. Here are a few thoughts around character:
As a college basketball player, you will receive attention, whether you desire it or not. Since basketball is a major college sport, there is plenty of media, campus and off-campus exposure. Simply put, people will know exactly who you are.
Since college sports are so popular, schools often are associated with players on the team. Hence, you are an “ambassador” of the school. College athletes are ambassadors and “role models” at some level to the campus and local community. The administration and athletic department understand this and a portion of their job security depends on it. In short, college programs will be reluctant at best to invest tens of thousands of dollars in a player’s education, only to have the player be involved in an “incident” that brings shame to the school.
After graduation, you are still a representative of your school (whether you desire it or not). I have personally experienced that corporate America is fascinated with the actual college sports experience. It’s fun to share my experiences of being a scholar-athlete to my corporate piers.
Integrity (to yourself, others, the game):
Can you be trusted to make the best choices when nobody is watching you?
Are you accountable for your actions?
Do you constantly work to perfect your game, even the more difficult or tedious aspects of the sport?
Do you genuinely value and respect the contributions of others (both on and off the court)?
Ability to give back:
Are you a good example for others to follow?
Are you willing to contribute to the achievements of others?
How will you be remembered? What will be your legacy?